“Sambayanang buhay sa pananampalataya, nagdadamayan at nagpapahalaga sa kalikasan para sa mapayapa at maunlad na lipunan.”
“Para sa katuparan ng pangarap na ito, itinatalaga namin ang aming sarili sa pagbuo at pagatataguyod ng Damayang Kristiyano, pagiging bukas sa mga bagong kaisipan, panukala at gawain na tunay na magpapaunlad sa Simbahan ng Maralita, higit na pagpapalaganap ng ebanghelisasyon sa kabuuang aspeto nito, pagtutol sa anumang uri ng pagpapalaganap ng pagsasamantala at katiwalian sa lipunan, at pagtatanggol ng karapatan ng mga mahihirap at mahihina.”
In 1937, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) from Holland came to Lupao. There was no Catholic Church and convent at that time so Fr. Reinier Van Glansbeek, a Dutch missionary and the first parish priest, had to stay with a local family until a small church and convent was built.
On September 27, 1992, the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady, Mother of Mercy (SCMM) came to Lupao and built their convent here, having chosen Lupao as their mission area. Since the arrival, the sisters have worked in close relationship with the parish and the schools.
At the outbreak of World War II, Fr. Glansbeek and his companion priests were captured and detained by the Japanese Imperial Army soldiers. After the war, Fr. Glansbeek returned to Lupao to continue his work at the Parish of St. James the Great. He was succeeded by other Dutch and Filipino MSC priests.
From 1938-2001, there were seventeen MSC priests who served the town of Lupao, the last of whom was Rev. Jesus Dumaual.
On May 22, 2001, the administration of the parish and Sacred Heart Academy was turned over to the diocesan clergy. Msgr. Rolando Mabutol was installed by Most Rev. Leo M. Drona, SDB, DD as the first diocesan parish priest of Lupao and Fr. Ernie P. Pesimo as parochial vicar.
On May 10, 2009 during the clergy reshuffle, Rev. Fr. Arleen P. Ragasa was installed as the new parish priest of St. James the Great.
St. James the Great Parish, Lupao, Nueva Ecija is 174 kilometers north of Manila. Lupao is bounded on the North by the town of Umingan, Pangasinan, San Jose City on the South, Talugtug on the West and by Carranglan on the Eastern side. It has a total land area of 17,378 hectares, most of which is agricultural land.
Palay is its main crop while onion, garlic, corn and peanuts are secondary crops. It has a population of around 37,000, majority of whom are farmers. More than 70% are Roman Catholics. Main dialects are Tagalog and Ilocano. Lupao has 24 barangays, four of which comprise the poblacion.
FORMER PARISH PRIESTS FROM 1938 to present
Fr. Reinier van Glansbeek, MSC
Fr. Bartolome Witteman, MSC
Fr. John Boere, MSC
Fr. Cornelio Swinkels, MSC
Fr. Pedro Magugat, MSC (future Bishop Pedro Magugat, MSC)
Fr. Leo van Kalmthout, MSC
Fr. Jose Pascual, MSC
Fr. James Rijk, MSC
Fr. Ton Vander Meer, MSC
Fr. Manuel Hilario, MSC
Fr. Jose Croonen, MSC
Fr. Martin Winnips, MSC
Fr. Rudy Abao, MSC
Fr. Roberto Villanueva, MSC
Fr. Carlos Gonzales, MSC
Fr. Jesus Dumaual, MSC
Msgr. Rolando Mabutol
Fr. Arleen Ragasa
Fr. Renato R. Santos - present
The Feast of St. James the Great is on July 25. Dalaw Patron starts on July 1st till the 15th, the novenario is from July 16-24. The parish celebrates its feastday with a mass, usually presided by the bishop and attended by guest priests from different parishes in the diocese. Confirmation is also held during the fiesta.
The Parish Pastoral Council (PPC), which meets every first Sunday of the month, is composed of representatives from mandated organizations, church groups and ministries, BPCs and barangay coordinators. Parish activities and projects are spearheaded by the council.
Catechetical instruction in public elementary schools is a priority program of the parish. Volunteer catechists conduct catechism classes and prepare the children for First Communion and Confirmation.
The Damayang Kristiyano (DK) program is still in its initial stages. The parish has one full-time DK Coordinator.
Regular formation of lay leaders of mandated organizations and transparochial movements as well as members of lay liturgical ministries is a vital thrust of the parish.